This seems so final. 

We've been home for over two months and I continue to learn lessons from the experiences gained in Munich. I have a presentation of my experience which I've shared with a couple dozen people so far. In the presentation, I showcase facts and figures learned from the Housing Office of Munich, from the various guides, and showcase my experience with Caritas social workers - Astrid, Urs, and Barbara. 

Here's a picture of the most recent presentation - at my home church, St. Tim's Lutheran Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Teaching others is often a valuable way to learn the real takeaways - the good stuff. I think because I've gone through my experience several times in this formal way - it marinates deeper every time - and I continue to find connections and lessons. Today for example, in church the lesson was about God and Moses - how Moses's journey all began because he turns his head toward the burning bush. That's all he has to do. That simple gesture of acknowledgment and BAM he's at the beginning of his story. Please, don't read that I'm proselytizing here - I'm not. The analogy of turning our heads to really see each other is powerful. It's so scary. Really truly I get it. It's easy for me to not turn my head towards the immigrants and migrants coming across the border to my home, New Mexico. To not turn my head to the refugees facing deportation or the fear of being caught because they are "illegal". How do we help? We turn our heads and acknowledge them. I turn my head towards you and you turn your head towards me - to hold us both of accountable to help our brothers and sisters. 

Below is what I've deemed, "The International Symbol of Social Work". It's a picture of a commonly found comic which I've seen in many social worker's offices and work areas - and this copy is no different - found in a case management office in a Caritas settlement facility in Munich. The text reads, "Never give up!" I feel it's fitting for this moment of reflection - while the Western world's politics seems against helping our fellow human beings - we must never give up. We must always turn our heads to acknowledge and see each other.   

Sara Love
Master's of Social Work & Master's of Public Health Student - NMSU


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